Shopping cart abandonment is when someone visits a website, places a product in the shopping cart, but then doesn’t complete the purchase. Needless to say, this is not a good thing. If someone places an item or two in the shopping cart, you WANT them to complete the purchase so you make money. So, if you’re running an e-commerce store, you’ll want to understand why shopping cart abandonment occurs, then solve for how to fix it if and when it does. Let’s dive into this a bit further:

Offer a User-Friendly Site Experience

We can’t stress the importance of a positive user-friendly site experience. What does this mean? It means your site makes sense! There are few distractions or reasons for a visitor to be confused. The branding is consistent. The messaging is aligned with what you do and how you do it.

There are so many factors involved in shopping cart abandonment. Here are some more specifics to keep an eye on:

Navigation Structure is a big one. Someone should be able to enter your website and find out where they want to go just by easily looking at the navigation. It should be simple and straightforward, using terms that reflect what the page is about.

Trust can be many things, but first, it’s important to understand that the minute someone doesn’t trust your site, whether it be the payment processing you have in place or the viability of the product(s) you’re selling (i.e. is this fake or good quality?) they’re going to run away as fast as they can. Remember, people today have very limited attention spans and patience, which is a dangerous combo when you’re trying to get them to “buy-in” to what you’re selling. That means you need to give them reasons to believe you are viable, you are legit.

Offer up trust badges, as an idea. Testimonials work well, too. Show them videos. Display quality imagery. Make sure your social channel presence is strong and consistent across the board – that means you need to have the same logo, tagline, etc. on each channel. Don’t say you sell children’s clothing on one and you sell adult fashion on the other. Be consistent. Be consistent. Be consistent. Consistency breeds trust and reliability. Make sure your pricing is clear and makes sense. Look at your shipping details. Fine-tune every single product description – write a unique one for each!

Checkout and Payment Options

As you can imagine, most people are very serious about their money AND their identity. So, make sure the payment flow and options work as they should. Also, offer up different options because people like being able to pick and choose how they’re going to pay. If another competitor site is selling the same thing your site sells, but your site limits how someone can pay (i.e. you don’t accept Mastercard) it’s a relatively simple fix and will give them one more reason NOT to turn away to your competitor. People expect options so give them options.

Also, make your checkout pages include a strong call to action. This might seem obvious, but again, limit the paths for confusion. Make it really clear how and where someone can go pay if and when they’re ready. The quicker the path the better. Always.

Make sure promos and savings WORK! If you are offering 20% off and you advertise that in your latest newsletter…if someone clicks on the CTA to be taken to the page where they can buy what you’re advertising…then they enter the code and the code fails…not everybody is going to be so kind as to contact you and say “hey I entered the code but it didn’t work.” In fact, assume they will go elsewhere. Check your promos. Make sure they are active.

The ability to checkout as a guest is important, too. It goes along with offering different payment options.

Give them a money-back guarantee. Or, at the very least, make sure your return policy is clearly stated and something you can stick to.

Shipping Options and Delivery Estimates

Shipping is hands down the most complicated step to setup and also the single most important piece of the conversion puzzle. It can absolutely make or break the path to conversion. As a general rule of thumb, consumers despise paying for shipping…people there are so many FREE SHIPPING options out there. In fact, because of that, most expect to not have to pay for shipping. If they do, they want it to be minimal. But, as a store owner, you have to keep in mind margins so…just do the best you can. Start out by researching what your competitors are offering in terms of shipping. Keep yourself competitive, but don’t hurt yourself by offering free shipping if it doesn’t make sense financially to do so. It depends on the products you’re shipping and also where you ship and their weight, etc. Once again, there are many factors to consider, so do what is best for you and your business.

Delivery estimates go along with shipping…make sure your estimates are accurate. Don’t say 1 business day for delivery when that really means 5 days. Don’t say 3-5 days when you mean 15. People will get pissed off quickly if they’re promised one thing and receive it late.


Last but not least, check out some retargeting apps to see if you can bring shopping cart abandoners back into your funnel. There are a lot of good ones out there and they tend to work well. Use a multi-channel approach – retarget on Google AND Email and on your website. Don’t just use one or the other.

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